Amid the last privacy scandals, the Googleannounced on Thursday (22) that is working on new open standards to make web browsing more private and, at the same time, to allow sites to continue showing personalized ads to each user.
The suggestions revolve around what Google calls Privacy Sandbox. It is a set of techniques to limit the provision of information about your browsing habits, including the differential privacy, which anonymizes a database by inserting mathematical noises; and the federated learning, which allows you to train and improve an artificial intelligence without the data leaving your device.
According to Google, “recently, some other browsers have tried to solve this problem, but without a set of agreed standards, attempts to improve user privacy are having unintended consequences.” Firefox started blocking advertiser trackers by default, while Safari may have a system that prevents sites from discovering a user’s actions on the web.
Google says blocking cookies harms the web
Google, which has an obvious interest in the matter, argues that “blocking cookies on a large scale damages people’s privacy by encouraging dark practices, such as fingerprinting,” which allows a website to identify a user using other information, such as the browser version and fonts installed on the system. In addition, the end of personalized advertising may represent a 52% loss in revenue for websites, according to a study by Google itself.
And how will Google solve the privacy problem? The work is beginning, but there are some ideas. In federated learning, the browser “avoids revealing that you are a member of a group that likes Beyoncé and sweaters until you are sure that the group contains thousands of other people.”
There is also the privacy budget: the sites will be able to ask the browser for information as long as it is possible to keep the user in a group large enough for them to remain anonymous. If more requests are made, over the budget limit, they will be blocked.
You can check out Google’s ideas this page. The suggestions should be implemented first in Chrome, but the goal is to work together with the web community to create an open standard that is used by everyone.